Roderic O'Gorman

Roderic O'Gorman (born 12 December 1982) is an Irish Green Party politician who has served as Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth since June 2020. He has been a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin West constituency since 2020. He previously served as Chairman of the Green Party from 2011 to 2019.[2][3]

Roderic O'Gorman

Roderic O'Gorman (official portrait) 2020.jpg
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
Assumed office
27 June 2020
TaoiseachMicheál Martin
Preceded byKatherine Zappone
(Children and Youth)
Charles Flanagan
(Equality)
Chairman of the Green Party
In office
20 May 2011 – 29 November 2019
LeaderEamon Ryan
Preceded byFrancis Noel Duffy
Succeeded byHazel Chu
Teachta Dála
Assumed office
February 2020
ConstituencyDublin West
Personal details
Born (1982-12-12) 12 December 1982 (age 37)
Mulhuddart, Dublin, Ireland
NationalityIrish
Political partyGreen Party
Domestic partnerRay Healy[1]
Alma mater
Websiterodericogorman.com

Early and personal lifeEdit

O'Gorman is originally from Mulhuddart, and now lives in Blanchardstown. Before becoming a TD, he worked as a law lecturer in the School of Law and Government at Dublin City University, where he was the programme chair of the Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics and Law programme. As of the 3rd of October 2020, he is marked as "on leave" on the Dublin City university website. Before this he worked at Griffith College, where he lectured and was a course director for five years. He had completed his undergraduate law degree at Trinity College, followed by a Master of Laws in EU law in the London School of Economics. He completed his PhD entitled 'Union citizenship, social rights and the Marshallian approach' in Trinity College, Dublin in 2011. He is openly gay.[4]

Political careerEdit

O'Gorman first brush with politics and the Green Party came when, at the age of 10 years old, he canvassed on behalf of his local Councillor Trevor Sargent in his successful bid in the 1992 general election. O'Gorman formally joined the Young Greens while studying law at Trinity College Dublin in the early 2000s and supported John Gormley in his bid for the leadership of the Green Party in 2002.[5]

O'Gorman was considered of the most ardent supporters of the Civil Partnership and Certain Rights and Obligations of Cohabitants Act 2010, which introduced Civil Partnerships for Gay and Lesbian couples in Ireland.[5]

O'Gorman was elected as a member of Fingal County Council for the Castleknock local electoral area, following the 2014 local elections.[6] He failed to get elected as a TD at the 2007, 2011 and 2016 general elections, but finally succeeded in being elected following the 2020 general election to represent Dublin West. Pamela Conroy was co-opted to O'Gorman's seat on Fingal County Council following his election to the Dáil.

Ministerial careerEdit

On 27 June 2020, O'Gorman was appointed Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth in the Government of the 33rd Dáil.[7]

In July 2020, O'Gorman announced his intention to make it easier for those under the age of 16 to legally change their gender with their parent's consent.[8] That same month he also announced a "root and branch" review of the "fragmented" child care sector, with the intention that after 10 months a new agency would be created that could pull together and co-ordinate the many different committees and national bodies already tasked with oversight of Irish childcare as well as cutting through red tape.[9]

He also pledged to increase financial support for parents who choose to look after their children themselves rather than using childcare services.[10]

Peter Tatchell controversy and harassment by far-right activistsEdit

Following his appointment as Minister for Children, O'Gorman was criticised on social media for a photo at the Dublin Pride Festival in 2018 in which he appeared alongside Green activists including Peter Tatchell, a Green Party of England and Wales member and LGBT activist who had been criticised for remarks made regarding paedophilia in 1997. Among those to ask for clarity were Newstalk presenter and former medical doctor Ciara Kelly,[11] and actor John Connors.[12][13] O'Gorman issued a public statement via Twitter regarding the matter.[14]

I met Peter Tatchell once and took a photo. That was the only time I have met him. I knew of him as someone who stood up for LGBT people in countries where their rights were threatened. I was surprised to read some quotes from the 90s, which I had not read before. Any of those views would be completely abhorrent to me. I’m glad to see he’s clarified and explained that what is being alleged isn’t his view. [14]

In the same statement, O'Gorman claimed that the episode was "rooted in homophobia" and was being driven by "anonymous far-right Twitter accounts".[14] Furthermore, O'Gorman stated that neither he, his party nor the government have any plans to lower the age of consent in Ireland.[14]

John Connors subsequently publicly apologised to O'Gorman after Connors appeared at a rally held against O'Gorman outside Dáil Éireann by members of the Irish far-right such as the National Party, who unfurled a banner at the demonstration containing a noose. Connors said after attending the rally he realised he had been "politically naive" and that he had allowed himself "to be lead and be part of an online frenzy that cast hurtful and false assertions" on O'Gorman.[12][13] O'Gorman stated that he accepted the apology and considered the matter "fully resolved" between the two.[12][13]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kelleher, Patrick (11 February 2020). "Irish Green Party candidate celebrates election victory with a defiant kiss on live TV". PinkNews. Retrieved 11 February 2020.
  2. ^ "Roderic O'Gorman". Oireachtas Members Database. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
  3. ^ "Roderic O'Gorman, Party Cathaoirleach, Representative, Castleknock Ward (Fingal County Council)". Green Party. Archived from the original on 26 May 2014. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  4. ^ "Out of Touch". Irish Independent. 14 April 2007. Retrieved 26 November 2008. I wanted to be a politician long before I knew I was gay," says Roderic O'Gorman. "When I realised that I felt it might be a big, big problem for me. When I did go for selection, I made it clear to those who might not know, that I am gay so that they could factor that into their considerations. But it was not an issue."
  5. ^ a b "YOUNG BLOODS – RODERIC O'GORMAN". The Phoenix. 5 September 2019. Retrieved 10 February 2020.
  6. ^ Bohan, Christine (25 May 2014). "Who is your new local councillor?". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  7. ^ Lehane, Mícheál (27 June 2020). "Revealed: New Cabinet and Taoiseach's Seanad nominees" – via www.rte.ie. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  8. ^ O'Connell, Hugh (6 July 2020). "New Children's Minister to make it easier for under-16s to change their gender". Irish Independent. Retrieved 6 July 2020.
  9. ^ Horgan-Jones, Jack (27 July 2020). "New childcare agency will bring 'fragmented' sector together". Irish Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  10. ^ O'Halloran, Marie (21 July 2020). "Financial support pledged for childminders, parents who look after own children". Irish Times. Retrieved 31 July 2020.
  11. ^ Kelly, Ciara (3 July 2020). "That isn't really the main issue".
  12. ^ a b c Duffy, Rónán (20 July 2020). "Children's Minister accepts apology from John Connors who says he was 'politically naive'". TheJournal.ie. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  13. ^ a b c Kelly, Olivia (20 July 2020). "Roderic O'Gorman accepts John Connors apology for 'deranged' campaign". Irish Times. Retrieved 21 July 2020.
  14. ^ a b c d Pollak, Sorcha (6 July 2020). "Roderic O'Gorman alleges misinformation campaign about child protection issues". Retrieved 6 July 2020.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Katherine Zappone
as Children and Youth Affairs
Minister for Children, Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth
2020–present
Incumbent